Lead firm responsibility for regulatory arbitrage


This research project fixes on the role and responsibility of lead firms in the arbitrage of labour regulation.


Project background and aims

Liberalisation of labour laws is augmenting the arbitrage options of lead firms in supply networks. Strategies include internalisation, casualisation, outsourcing and under-payment. Social movements are trying to enlist labour law protections like employment and award to counter the impact on pay and conditions.


This research connects industrial relations with law making to identify patterns of arbitrage. It interviews industry participants and analyses legal decisions to assess the ways in which lead firms are being held responsible. A case study focuses on the role of major supermarkets in the regulation of food distribution and delivery.


  • Chris Arup, 'Labour Law Liberalisation and Regulatory Arbitrage', Australian Journal of Labour Law 33: 183-208, 2020.
  • Chris Arup, 'Enforcing Labour Standards in the Supermarket Food Supply Chain', Australian Journal of Labour Law 32: 103-122, 2019.
  • Chris Arup, ''The New Competition for the Household Meal', SSRN WPS 3478981, January 2019.
  • Chris Arup, 'Updating the Labour Market Perspective on Labour Law', in J. Howe, A. Chapman and I. Landau (eds), The Evolving Project of Labour Law: Foundations, Development and Future Research Directions, Federation Press, 2017, pp 46-59.